Have you ever seen a movie, TV show, or a play that just brought something up in you that you had tucked away or forgotten about?
I saw a play the other night a local theater called “Bare: A Pop Opera.” It’s about handful of students at a Catholic school, and 2 of the characters are in a secret, gay relationship. It tells the story of these 2 keeping it a secret and what happens when the secret comes out. It was a great play with great music and I went again and saw it last night. There are videos of other performances on YouTube so I would check it out. This play has brought me to tears on more than one occasion.
The reason this hit so close to home for me is that I pretty much lived what the main character; Peter lived in high school, about 15 or so years. I too had a secret relationship with another guy. This was probably the first guy I ever fell in love with. That feeling wasn’t mutual, for him, it was more physical. We would sneak around and fool around whenever we could at school.
Then, as happened in “Bare,” the secret got out. What he didn’t know, was that I had told a few people and they told others and soon everyone knew. He was on the “DL” and I was out of the closet, being the only gay high school student in a little town in North Carolina. I told him that people must have seen us together and figured it out. He ended things and after a short time, things went back to the way that they were but didn’t last long and when the next year came, we were in different classes and didn’t get to see him as much.
There is another scene in the play where Peter tries to call his mother and tell her he is gay. The way the scene is done, the mother is on one part of the stage and Peter is on another part, phone in hand. He tries to tell her several times and she keeps interrupting with everyday chatter. Finally, she hangs up and then she starts singing about finally getting the proof that her son is gay. You just need to see the scene here to understand.
In 1999, I came out to my mother, in a “Lost In Space” costume on Halloween. I had no choice. I had been living with some friends who found out and due to their beliefs, no longer wanted me in their home. The struggle that Peter goes through to tell his mom he was gay was exactly what I went through in trying to tell her in person.
What experience have you had where something you had forgotten or tucked away came back full force?
Here is a link for a playlist of the songs from the play.